Turkey given basketball World Cup wild card
Turkey hosted the 2010 World Championships and finished as runner-up. Hürriyet photoTurkey, Greece, Brazil and Finland were awarded wild card spots for the 2014 World Basketball Championship in Spain, it was announced on Feb. 1.
The Central Board of the sport’s governing body, FIBA, decided to award the four wild cards after its meeting on Feb. 1.
Turkey, ranked seventh in FIBA’s men’s basketball rankings, was named alongside Greece (ranked fifth), Brazil (ranked 10th) and Finland (ranked 39th).
As a result, the field is now complete for FIBA’s flagship event. The 24 teams are: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Iran, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and USA.
The wild cards are made to ensure that FIBA has the teams which enable it to have the best possible FIBA Basketball World Cup, as FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said.
“Since 2006, 11 of the 12 teams that have been granted wild cards were always inside the top 24 of the FIBA Ranking Men,” he said. “This proves that FIBA’s Central Board is determined to make the FIBA Basketball World Cup as competitive as possible.
“Three of the recipients of the wild cards for Spain 2014 are ranked inside the top 10. Greece, fifth in the current ranking, are a powerhouse of international basketball and this is the first time they have asked for a wild card. Brazil were quarterfinalists at the 2012 London Olympics, are 10th in the world and will host the 2016 Rio Olympics. Turkey were silver medalists at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and are a regular fixture in leading international tournaments,” the statement said, also praising Finland for its surprising performance, finishing ninth in the 2013 EuroBasket in Slovenia.
“All four teams have confirmed the total commitment of their best players to participate at Spain 2014,” it was added.